How Nigerian employers are retaining talent amid ‘Great Resignation’ – Businessday

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Businessday Ng –
The exodus of Nigerian employees, especially from the tech sector, is causing some employers to adopt several attraction and retention strategies in order to ensure the stability and sustainability of their businesses.
According to BusinessDay interviews with human resource professionals, some of the strategies are job shadowing (on-the-job training from a more experienced colleague), reward systems and second work arrangements (employees work for half salary when a replacement is found).
“People are now coming up with more interesting ways to attract talents because they have become limited. They are even going as high as factoring in referrals into their reward and recognition system,” Olamide Adeyeye, head of research at Jobberman Nigeria, said.
According to Adeyeye, what this does is to put some power in the hands of employees because a lot of times, employers call the shots in the workplace but based on this kind of arrangement, employees now have a seat at the table.
Abidemi Ajai, group head, human resources at Coralstone Capital, said putting the right strategies in place would help prevent gaps that would affect businesses.
“For us, we employ and train interns that will overshadow the senior employees or their supervisors. They will study them so that they can understand the role, experience or business,” Ajai said.
Over the past six years, Nigeria’s socioeconomic indicators such as inflation, unemployment and insecurity have worsened.
Read also: How businesses can focus on employees to avoid ‘The Great Resignation’
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s inflation rate quickened to 19.6 percent as at July 2022, one of the highest in Africa, while the unemployment rate stood at 33.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Economic hardship, which has affected the peoples’ standard of living, is forcing many Nigerians, especially the youths, to leave the country in droves.
And one of the ways they are leaving is through study visas in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom. These countries, especially the UK, have been aggressive in attracting talent to fill their vacant job roles.
“Companies have realised that people are leaving at a very frequent rate, which is causing gaps in their organisational structure,” said Jennifer Oyelade, director of Transquisite Consulting, a UK and Nigerian registered recruitment and training consultancy.
“They need to find ways to fill that gap in order to maintain the stability of the businesses.”
In 2021, a total of 43,200 sponsored study visas (scholarships) were granted to Nigerians by the UK, a 236.3 percent increase from 12,845 in 2020.
The number of new study permits for Nigerians increased by 30.3 percent to 13,745 in 2021 from 10,550 in 2020.
“Apart from the tech space, there is a huge wave of Nigerians migrating to other countries, mostly the UK because of the opportunities brought by Brexit. It has caused vacancies in different industries that Nigerians can fill,” said Ayokunmi Kunle-Salami, an information and technology engineer at Cowry Asset Management Limited.
Read also: Nigerian banks hit by ‘Great Resignation’ of top tech talent
During a post-Bankers’ Committee meeting press briefing held in April, Abubakar Suleiman, chief executive officer at Sterling Bank Plc, complained of how the banking industry had been hit by the great resignation.
“So many of our very experienced talents, especially in the area of software engineering, are either leaving the industry or leaving the country,” Suleiman said.
The Great Resignation, also known as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle, is an ongoing trend in which employees are voluntarily exiting their employment obligations since the late 2020 and early 2021.
Adebambo Aina, a Lagos-based HR expert, said doing constant recruitment is not easy.
“It consumes time and effort. It also takes your time away from doing other valuable things you need to grow the company. So, try to look for those that are interested in your project more than the money,” Aina said.
He advised companies to offer appropriate remuneration packages, create a good culture in your firm and in your teams, allow them to express their creativity, constantly engage with them, reinforce positivity and hope for the best.
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Business Day, established in 2001, is a daily business newspaper based in Lagos. It is the only Nigerian newspaper with a bureau in Accra, Ghana. It has both daily and Sunday titles. It circulates in Nigeria and Ghana
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